Apple hired two attorneys, Theodore Olson and Theodore Boutrous, well known for their expertise in freedom of speech cases as part of the legal defense it's using to fight a Federal court order to strip out security protections in iOS so the FBI can hack into an iPhone. Their names showed up in court documents from the case, hinting that Apple may be planning to use First Amendment freedom of speech arguments as part of their justification for not complying with the order.
Mr. Olsen is known for his win in the 2010 Citizens United v Federal Election Commission case. Mr. Boutrous has a history of representing media outlets in freedom of speech cases.
Apple retains freedom of speech experts for FBI court order fight
The FBI was granted a court order earlier this week compelling Apple to create a special version of iOS it can use to launch a brute force attack on the passcode for an iPhone recovered from one of the shooters in last year's San Bernardino County Department of Public Health terrorist attack. The phone had been issued by the county to one of the shooters, who was also an employee, Syed Rizwan Farook.
Because the iPhone is password protected, the device's contents is encrypted and inaccessible to law enforcement authorities. Built-in security measures will wipe the iPhone's data after ten failed login attempts, hence the FBI's push for an order compelling Apple to sidestep the security feature.
The FBI says it wants the special iOS version only for this one iPhone because they think it may contain important information related to the shooting. Apple wants to avoid creating the hackable iPhone operating system over fears it'll set a precedent where our own government continues to use it, governments around the world demand it for their own uses.
"The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that's simply not true," Apple CEO Tim Cook said. "Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices."
Next up: Apple's First Amendment Argument